The Queensland Brain Institute (QBI), at the University of Queensland (UQ) is working away to build a state-of-the-art supercomputer, the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region. This behemoth will be up and running by February 2018, poised to help researchers study the wiring of the brain to better understand various disorders.
The machine is dubbed the Wiener, after Norbert Wiener, the mathematician who formulated noise-cancelling algorithms for making images clearer. Cleaning out of noise, or blurriness encountered in a number of biological images, such as those of motile cells or microorganisms is time consuming and labour intensive.
This is where the supercomputer comes in; it is capable of processing immense quantities of ‘noisy’ high-resolution images and turning them into something sharp. This will deliver usable data to scientists faster than ever before. With its high processing speed and power, this machine will be a huge boon to many research institutes at the UQ, such as the Institute for Molecular Biosciences (IMB) and the Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis (CMM). This will certainly translate in to major research gains that may have the potential to change lives.
Geetanjali Rangnekar is a science communicator and editor, based in Adelaide, Australia.
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